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Is there a way to customize the "access denied" page that users get when trying to access a page they are not allowed to access?

I need this page to have the same look and feel of the site rather than switch to default SharePoint UI.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

That page: AccessDenied.aspx uses a master page called simple.master and not a default.master located on master page gallery on each site. So you should start from there.

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Be aware that simple.master (along with other master pages such as application.master) "belongs" to Microsoft and should not be edited. These files can be overwritten without warning when upgrading SharePoint. Instead you should consider using the HttpModule approach. Read the two excellent articles on this subject:…… – Anders Rask Jan 12 '10 at 21:54

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